Oregon really does have some of the most scenic cycling routes in the USA. It doesn’t matter if you’re a dedicated road or off-road cyclist, there’s something for everyone. Including the Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway…
Bikepacking with BMXers on Cross Bikes in the Santa Cruz Mountains
Photos by Brian Barnhart, words by Brian Barnhart, Bill Arlew, and Sam Pederson
Introduction by Brian Barnhart
As much as I love bikepacking, I just don’t do it enough. Living in Santa Cruz, it is so easy to surf, BMX, hike or mountain bike, and then spend the night at home. I can’t complain about the accessibility. But when I got a group text about scheduling a long weekend of bikepacking, I was in! The group got narrowed down to two guys I had never met, but I knew we would bond over the experience.
After some planning and a few bike mods, the morning came to pedal into the mountains. The three of us got acquainted sharing singletrack and fire roads, and discussing our packing setups along the way. Billy and Sam had an exciting route planned, now it was time to put it to the test. Three days of riding and two nights of camping in Castle Rock State Park and Butano State Park respectively.
Our bikes and packs created a bond within our group, and also with folks that we talked to along the way. We shared an enthusiasm for being in the middle of nowhere, pedaling our way in and finding our way out. The recently drenched forest was alive with newts, banana slugs, and vegetation, and at night a campfire gave it warmth. We challenged our bodies and were rewarded with endless views and mysterious fog topped mountains. The descents flew by at exhilarating rates, full attention given to every bump, rock, tree, angle and edge. And the flat terrain provided a time to relax and appreciate it all.
We rode hard, and sometimes walked hard when the grade got too steep. We came out better riders and more prepared for next trip. We found that feeling we all crave when we are off our bikes. It happens when the conditions are just right, and our brains narrow our thoughts down to what is happening right now. For us it was climbing steep hills then bombing down the other side through redwoods, chalky bluffs, open meadows, and coastal roadways. Being cold and wet, then warming up as the time and miles passed. Stimulated by scenic overload, quiet of deep forest, and the scent of untouched wilderness we smiled all the way home. (more…)
As the third largest city in North America, Los Angeles has some history to explore. Whitney did just that during her time in LA, combing over the urban fabric, connecting moments of interestingness, all before planning out a mega-tour that would take her and her 20/20 Cycles Kalakala from DTLA to the Desert Research Station in the Mojave Desert. Her trek was anything but easy as the San Gabriel peaks offer steep and dusty fireroads, combined with still warm temperatures for Autumn and minimal resources.
Whitney has a great and very different read over at Adventure Cycling about her trip. I highly suggest you take the time to check it out.
A few months ago James Scriven from Niner Bikes reached out and asked me to go on a bike ride with him. I agreed as soon as he asked and only afterwards began to understand what I had signed up for. As the details trickled in I found out that I wouldn’t be riding my own bike, but instead would be on a Special Edition Niner RLT. The bike would be auctioned off after the ride to benefit the International Mountain Bike Association. I wouldn’t even be using my own gear. The bike would be equipped with Blackburn bags, Big Agnes was providing the camping gear and Kitsbow even made a special pair of custom jean shorts for me to wear. Side note: my signature model can be expected to appear sometime in the year 2020. (more…)
No matter where you are seated at this very moment, this video will transport you far, far away. Jealousy has found me…
Since its inception, Bombtrack has consistently kept up with the growing popularity of the various facets of cycling. New to the line for 2016 is the Bombtrack Beyond drop bar dirt tourer. Built to accommodate a 2.1″ and running a SRAM X7 long cage derailleur, the Beyond can take you there, and back.
See more at Bombtrack.
Born to Run: Whitney and Her 20/20 Cycle’s Kalakala
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
She sweats it out on the back roads of an American Dream, riding through the mountains on a life saving machine. Sprung from the city on a one way line, polished wheels moving her forward most of the time. Whitney let us in, we wanna be your friend. We’ll ride till we drop, and we’ll never look back again.
The above words are from a song Bruce Springsteen never wrote, but I’m almost positive he would if he ever met Whitney Ford-Terry. She is a woman so enthralled with hitting the road that I wasn’t sure she knew any other way of life until I read her profile on Adventure Cycling. A life revolving around art galleries, alternative education, artistic research, working at non-profits, and most importantly getting lost in the woods on her bicycle. Whitney is equally comfortable working in museums like the MoMa or shooting the shit and drinking the boys under the table at whatever local bike shop she happens upon in her travels.
I became acquainted with Whitney when she reached out to me to discuss routes for a tour she was planning. She needed to get from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree for an artist residency and wanted to make the journey fun. We bounced ideas off one another for awhile and the route Whitney ultimately mapped out was hard enough to make most people call her crazy and shake their heads in disbelief. She decided to go straight up the San Gabriel Mountains, along the ridge and then over Mt Baldy to the high desert. With her route settled Whitney shipped her bike to Golden Saddle Cyclery to be built up.
Whitney’s 20/20 Cycle Kalakala is purpose built and can be configured to handle just about any bicycle tour you could imagine. Complete with DFL Stitchworks bags. This bike has never had a place to call home, Whitney has been riding it around the world for the last couple years and with that in mind I had no question about its ability to make it over the mountains I call home and to the Southern California High Desert that I love. Since photographing this bike it’s changed only ever so slightly with the addition of one more National Park badge to the fender, Joshua Tree.
Next time we wanna go with you, Whitney we were born to run!
P.S. If you happen to meet Whitney someday, ask her what hobo tattoos and Bruce Springsteen mean to her.
Holy shit. Where do I even begin here? First off, we just saw where Rick Hunter builds his frames in Bonny Doon, just outside of Santa Cruz so we have context. Second off, the name of this bike is one of the deadliest vipers on Earth, the Bushmaster. These snakes are capable of multiple strikes in milliseconds and will deliver a fatal amount of venom without blinking an eye *snakes don’t have eyelids.*
Multiple strikes, multiple gears. No, wait. This is a singlespeed, right? Look again. (more…)
I can’t help it. I love touring bikes with big, fat, high volume tires and funky stances. This project in particular was born from the mind and abilities of three important individuals, residing in the Portland area under the Velo Cult Customs umbrella.
This Ahearne Dirt Tourer is a collaboration between three people: Sky from Velo Cult, Chris Igleheart and Ahearne. We’ll start with the most obvious hand: Chris Igleheart‘s segmented fork, which is complimented by the Ahearne rack and frameset. These bikes are 100% custom, can be built with 26″ or 27.5″ wheels, have an optional upgrade of Honjo 90mm Fenders and are rugged enough for even the toughest dirt touring and bikepacking expeditions. One of my favorite details are the braze-ons hidden below the top tube for a strapless bag install.
This is the first in a series of Velo Cult Customs, the line will grow to include road, randonneur, cross and a gravel racer in the coming months.
Contact Velo Cult for pricing and availability.
Part commuter, part touring bike, beautiful functionality with that Icarus flair.
Chris wanted a bike that did all of the above. Having already commissioned Ian to build him a matte black road bike, he knew exactly what he wanted in a commuter. Tubus titanium racks, SON hub, Edelux lamp, Chris King, Paul components, custom painted Berthoud fenders, Swift Industries panniers, Jack Brown Blues and White Industries cranks, all being operated by SRAM’s XO long cage rear derailleur and barcons.
A lot of the parts selection was informed by my Geekhouse when Chris was selecting his kit. Dependability was the most important issue yet as we said earlier, it needed to be beautifully functional.
Maybe he’ll have time to get out on a tour? Or maybe it’ll just serve him as it has for the past year as a commuter for Austin, TX.